Russian gas transit via Ukraine lower amid warm weather in Europe – source


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MOSCOW — Russian gas transit to Europe via Ukraine has been some 16% lower in the past week from previous levels amid mild weather in Europe, a source familiar with the data said on Tuesday.

Kremlin-controlled gas giant Gazprom has said that Russian daily gas deliveries via the Sudzha entry point through Ukraine to Europe have been at 35.5 million cubic meters for the past five days, down from more than 40 million cubic meters in the past few months.

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Gazprom did not reply to a request for comment about why the volumes have declined.

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The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the lower volumes probably reflected record-high winter temperatures seen across much of Europe over the new year period.

Refinitiv gas analyst Marina Tsygankova said last week the reduction could be a result of Russian contracts not making enough money this month.

Hundreds of sites have seen temperature records smashed in the past days, from Switzerland to Poland to Hungary, which registered its warmest Christmas Eve in Budapest and saw temperatures climb to 18.9 degrees Celsius (66.02°F) on Jan. 1.

British and Dutch prompt wholesale gas prices mostly edged lower on Tuesday morning as continued milder weather curbed gas demand for heating and as liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply rose.

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Russian commodity exports have become increasingly politicized amid what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, now in its 11th month.

Russian gas exports to Europe via pipelines plummeted to a post-Soviet low in 2022 as its largest customer cut imports due to the conflict in Ukraine and a major pipeline was damaged by mysterious blasts.

The European Union has spoken for years about cutting its heavy reliance on Russian energy, but it only started to get serious after the Kremlin sent troops into Ukraine in February.

Gas storage operators in Germany, which used to be Gazprom’s largest consumer of gas, expressed optimism on Tuesday that there would be no supply problems next winter due to declining consumption and said there was no chance of shortages this winter.

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Milder temperatures for the time of year across much of Europe have meant gas stock levels have remained stable, rather than being drawn down as would normally be the case during winter months.

Overall, Europe’s gas stores were 83% full on Jan. 8 according to the latest data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, little changed from the end of last year.

Separately, Gazprom Mezhregiongaz, a branch of Gazprom responsible for domestic gas supplies, said on Tuesday that on Jan. 8 it saw a daily record-high of gas deliveries to Russian consumers for the past three years, or 1.74 billion cubic meters, due to low temperatures across many regions. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Gareth Jones)



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